October 11, 2013
By Alyssa J. Miller
It’s an accusation among public land managers that general aviation doesn’t have a good response to: the perception that aircraft noise has a negative impact on wildlife.
If policymakers or the public say that aircraft flying overhead causes wildlife undue stress, interferes with mating or migratory patterns, or jeopardizes the health of animals, groups like the Recreational Aviation Foundation that try to preserve access to remote airstrips on public lands have no data to prove the claim wrong.
Opposing those views is “like saying you’re against mom, dad, and apple pie,” Recreational Aviation Foundation President John McKenna said Oct. 11 at AOPA Aviation Summit in Fort Worth, Texas—even if the people making the claims have little to no data proving their point.
The group plans to conduct a study in the summer of 2014 to determine whether aircraft noise raises stress levels among wildlife. The study, funded in part by a grant from the AOPA Foundation’s Giving Back program, will examine animals’ hormone levels collected from blood or feces samples to determine if they are stressed. The samples will be collected near backcountry airstrips that are frequented in the summer and compared to those of animals in areas without aircraft noise.
The Recreational Aviation Foundation plans to have the study peer reviewed and will release the results to the aviation community.
AOPA Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor Alyssa J. Miller has worked at AOPA since 2004 and is an active flight instructor.
Recreational Aviation Foundation,
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
The Aircraft Spotlight feature looks at an airplane type and evaluates it across six areas of particular interest to flying clubs and their members: Operating Cost, Maintenance, Insurability, Training, Cross-Country, and Fun Factor.
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